Tukur condemns Senate’s call for auditing of Dana Airline
.Says audit of airline is work of regulatory authority
.Calls on NCAA to play its role
By Udeme Clement
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Afri-Jet Airlines, also former Deputy Secretary General, Airline Operators of Nigeria ,AON, Alhaji Mohammed Tukur, has condemned in totality, the call by Senators for auditing of Dana Airline, says the call for auditing of an airline is the duty of the regulatory authority.
Tukur made this known at a press conference in Lagos, stressing that audit of an airline to determine its serviceability is solely the work of the Regulatory Authority, which NCAA represents in Nigeria. Also, the call for audit should be applied to all airlines and not only Dana.
He said, “While I am not making case for the airlines, since I know the implications, as an industry person when safety standards are compromised, it is important to draw the attention of Federal Government to the fact that aviation industry should not be politicized”.
He went on, “Airline business all over the world and its regulations are the same, and never have we heard that Law Makers anywhere calls for audit of an airline, even on the event of the worst crash like the Malaysian air disaster, which happened four years ago. As industry stakeholder, my concern is that we should not at this time create unnecessary panic for ourselves, more so now that the economy is gradually picking up, coupled with the fact that the upcoming Airport Council International ,ACI, conference billed for next month in Nigeria is around the corner”.
His words, “When you single out one particular airline for audit, especially when such call is not coming from the professionals, you create fear in the minds of the public, especially the airline passengers. Incidence and accidents are associated with aviation business, which of course nobody prays for, but when it occurs, the relevant agencies steps in to forestall a recurrence. But when you undermine the responsibility of these agencies of government and go ahead to give directive without proper consultations, the result of such order may be counter productive”.
“The only way to avoid such situation is to allow the relevant government agency, saddled with this responsibility to do its job, that way, panic will not be created in the system, as we have it today. It is therefore important to remind us that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ,NCAA, was created by the Civil Aviation act of 2006, which gives it autonomy and power to regulate the activities of airlines in Nigeria. Again, for the fact that we passed the International Civil Aviation Organisation ,ICAO, audit, and being a Category-One status nation means that the system is working”.
“I must at this point commend the effort of Minister of State for aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika, because if it were in the past, this kind of call could have led to withdrawal of licenses of some airlines. That is why we urge always that a core professional should be appointed in the aviation industry. Audit of an airline should not be celebrated on the front pages of newspapers. What I rather think should be applauded is safety compliance of an airline, that way, the industry grows.”
“It is on record without mentioning names that some airlines had problems recently, so those airlines too should go through the rigor of audit. Politicians should not tell us when and how to audit the airlines. The call for Dana audit has not only sent bad signals in the system but has equally portrayed us as a people who are not really in tone with dynamism in the aviation industry, given the fact that the industry does not have local content. The right thing to say here is for NCAA as a regulatory body to continue in playing its statutory role, to avoid painting a particular airline in bad light by those who knows little about aviation regulation”.
“In reality, when an airline closes shop, what follows is job losses and I think the story of Nigeria Airways Limited ,NAL, is still fresh in our minds. I am sure this government is not ready to be throwing people out of job. So, we don’t need reactionary measures, instead, corrective measures in what we need on all our sectors including aviation industry”.